The Thunderbird Inn: The Hippest Hotel in Savannah
I’ve rekindled my love affair with Savannah! Going to grad school at Georgia Southern University, I spent many a night on River Street or in the historic City Market. It was a blast – thanks to a liberal open container law that lets you carouse with cup in hand from historic Jones Street to the Savannah River.
Savannah is the quintessential Southern city – it’s enchanting. It has soul and an edgy energy you can feel day and night. Cobblestoned squares, manicured parks, stately Victorian-era homes and ghost stories are all set under a veil of Spanish moss. The food and cocktail scene is exploding with award winning restaurants serving local and sustainable fare and swanky speakeasy style cocktail bars.
Lush in more ways than one, Georgia’s first city is hiding a legendary nightlife under its demure tree canopy. According to local lore, Savannah quenched General Sherman’s destructive fire by plying his army with grog, and thumbed its nose at Prohibition via a network of stills and speakeasies.
We stayed at The Thunderbird Inn (https://thethunderbirdinn.com) – a Southern-retro Inn right in downtown redefining historic Savannah’s hip eccentricities and historic Americana quirkiness. Although it is reminiscent of the free-spirited, young-again era of roadside motels, this is not your 1950s motel. Remodeled in 2018, it’s casual and fun-loving lodging. In fact, it’s so cool the fledgling Jackson Five stayed here back in the day.
Knowing me, you know it’s ecofriendly with the motto at the inn being, “the Earth is worth getting nostalgic about.” The Inn’s Go Green sustainability efforts include water conservation initiatives like low-volume irrigation in its colorful southern landscaping and water saving toilets and showers, solar panels, recycling, glass cups and mugs, and an electric car station. The rooms were fun and exceptionally clean. I loved the funky, throwback décor and they even had a rotary phone – who remembers that?!
That night we dined at Atlantic, (https://atlanticsavannah.com) – a cool, laid back eatery serving seasonal and locally sourced food. We tried the Chickpea Cheela which was a rolled crêpe with cashew cheese, roasted cauliflower, and coconut red curry sauce which was excellent with a little heat. The Porchetta with Napa and Red Cabbage Slaw was excellent – crispy on the outside and tender inside.
After dinner, we headed to the rooftop bar Perch, (http://www.local11ten.com/perch) – an off-the-radar type spot to snatch a couple of cocktails under the stars. With low-slung lounge chairs, bamboo planters and a canopy of trees, it’s a literal oasis on Bull Street. We had the Argument (pama liqueur, cachaça, lemon, lime, muddled orange, basil), which was named over a literal argument two bartenders had over what the drink should be named. After that we headed to Artillery, (https://www.artillerybar.com) – which clearly brings the A-game to Savannah’s cocktail scene. The ornate exterior beckons you inside this speakeasy and was a welcome addition when the owners opened the joint in a former artillery storehouse back in 2016. We sipped on a classic espresso martini and The Doc (high west double rye, china china, scrappy’s aromatic bitters, spearmint, smoked pipe tobacco) – both were fantastic.
Take the time to wander off the beaten path to find these gems and experience the history, beauty and charm of this beloved coastal city. I will definitely be back!
Book directly through the inn to obtain the best available rate. The Thunderbird Inn, 611 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401. Phone + Reservations: (912) 232-2661. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org